I awoke (a little before 6am) this morning to a this sheet of white snow covering the street from my window (around an inch so not too deep), unfortunately for me I was up before 6 as I had to make the 2.41 mile walk to work, but there are advantages to this walk, it takes me through the heart of my patch and around some of the lake.
I thought today (due to the snow) I would have fun seeing what tracks I could see, there were the usual cat paws (and possibly fox tracks but I’m no expert on telling the difference to be honest), the snake like tracks of cyclists, one or two human tracks as well as a few rabbits and a dog (although not near the lake), and then there were these (sorry for the quality phone camera):
What this photo does not show is that the tracks came down the slope and straight into the water, there were also signs of a heavy tail dragged through the snow at places. the prints were clustered and slightly elongated and screamed to me OTTER!
I have done some checking and the pattern was very similar to those found in this image: http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/environmentdec_images/trackpatterns.gif
Now although otters are becoming more common, and are already resident in MK, I have yet to see one locally (only ever seen one and that was in Cumbria) or even see evidence of one, so this find has made my day (and may mean a night time jaunt to the lake at some point.
On a slightly more disturbing level nearer my work and beside Linford wood I saw more tracks that surprised me but these brought a tear to my eye as they were the footprints of a person, and by this I do NOT mean shoe prints, some poor soul was wandering the area bare foot (I can only assume one of the local homeless population) a sad reminder of the perils life can throw at us.